Boy Meets World is a show beloved by many, and even though the cast became famous before the rise of social media, they still had interactions with fans who went over the line. In a recent episode of their podcast, Danielle Fishel and Will Friedle shared the unsettling experiences they had with fans who overstepped a boundary during Boy Meets World‘s heyday. Also, Rider Strong spoke about the lesson Ben Savage taught him when it came to interacting with fans.
Danielle Fishel had a pen pal when she worked on ‘Boy Meets World’
In the “Q&A Meets World Part 1” episode, Fishel spoke of a pen pal she had when she was younger. “I got a letter in ’93 from a young girl and she included pictures of herself in it and she was in gymnastics,” Fishel explained. She instantly felt connected to this fan because she was in gymnastics, too.
“She wrote me this handwritten letter that she was a fan and I wrote her back,” Fishel continued. “Then she sent me another letter and we started this correspondence back and forth. I felt very close to her.”
As the Boy Meets World star remembers it, her pen pal’s parents died when she was young. She was living with her older brother and even sent along photos so Fishel knew what her brother looked like. “Her brother was several years older,” Fishel added.
In one of the letters, Fishel’s pen pal included her phone number. So, she called.
‘Boy Meets World’ star was catfished by pen pal
Fishel’s pen pal didn’t answer when she called — she got a voicemail that featured her brother’s voice. This was no initial cause for alarm, as Fishel knew the girl was living with her brother. However, the girl’s name was never mentioned in the voicemail, which was odd.
Still, Fishel maintained the relationship with her pen pal — her mom was involved in their correspondence the entire time. Eventually, though, the truth came out.
“It was a guy the whole time,” Fishel explained on the podcast. “I kept calling her and I left my phone number and she would never call me back. Then, we got a letter from her brother saying that she had died.” Later, the man responsible for the letters started showing up at Fishel’s school and telling teachers he was there to pick her up. Fortunately, Fishel never came into physical contact with the man.
Will Friedle was invited to a fake wedding by a fan willing to leave her husband and kids
Fishel’s experience was extreme, but Friedle also had an experience with an extreme fan. “My weirdest one I ever got … [this fan] sent a wedding invitation with both of our names on it [and] the time and place [of the wedding],” Friedle said. The invitation was accompanied by a letter that said: “I’m married now, I have two kids, but if you’re at this church for our wedding, I will be marrying you and I will be leaving my family.”
Naturally, Friedle left the fan standing at the altar. He has been married to Susan Martens since 2016.
“99.9% of the fans are amazingly respectful [and] really nice,” he concluded. “But you worry about the .01%.”
Ben Savage taught Rider Strong how to properly interact with fans
Like Fishel and Friedle, Strong also had memories of fans ignoring boundaries and calling his home phone number. He also recalled a time he was at “one of the early malls in [Los Angeles]” with his Boy Meets World co-star Savage. “He got recognized and I really learned from him how to manage that moment,” Strong said.
“He was so confident and so gracious and thankful and signed whatever these kids wanted. I remember watching him and going, ‘Oh, that’s the way to do it.”Rider Strong, ‘Pod Meets World’
Previously, if Strong got recognized, he would “not create any boundaries” because he was excited about being noticed. But seeing Savage create that boundary inspired him to do the same.
Listen to Pod Meets World wherever you stream podcasts to hear more stories like this. New episodes release weekly on Mondays.